The politics of 21st-century America has overflowed with constitutional controversies. In this online seminar, fellows will return to the single largest repository of American political ideas – The Federalist Papers – and consider them anew through the lens of current events. 

Each session, fellows will read a section of The Federalist that discusses a given set of institutions or themes and news accounts of a contemporary issue involving these institutions or themes. In each case, fellows will discuss such questions as: What assumptions (about American political culture, the nature and purposes of American government, human nature, etc.) do the papers/primary sources in question reflect? Do those assumptions still hold in today’s America? If so, what does The Federalist tell us about the contemporary issue we are discussing? If not, why not, and what difference(s) does that change make for our understanding of American political institutions?

Greg Weiner on James Madison's View of Constitutional Interpretation


Greg Weiner

Greg Weiner is associate professor of Political Science, founding director of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship, and provost at Assumption College. He is the author of American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

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